If you’re thinking of trying a bleach bath to treat your eczema, this is what you need to know

Should you try a bleach bath to treat your eczema? Picture: Unsplash

Should you try a bleach bath to treat your eczema? Picture: Unsplash

Published Jul 1, 2024


If you have chronic eczema, you may be curious to try the home remedy called a “bleach bath.”

Eczema symptoms can be triggered by allergies, genetics, climate, stress, and other factors.

Although hot water and bubble baths may sound relaxing to many, for those with eczema, also referred to as atopic dermatitis, this can have the opposite effect, causing dry, scaly, red patches to develop on the skin.

“Bleach is antibacterial, and studies have shown that a diluted bleach bath may reduce eczema symptoms by reducing bacteria and inflammation on the skin,” says board-certified dermatologist Ross Radusky, MD, FAAD, from New York.

“However, it’s important to follow your dermatologist’s recommendations carefully in order for this treatment to be safe and effective.”

According to Dr. Radusky, a bleach bath may be helpful a few times a week. However, it shouldn’t be used daily, he says, as this can be too drying to the skin.

To prepare a bleach bath, Dr. Radusky recommends the following tips:

  1. Use regular strength bleach. Make sure it is plain bleach that is 6%, and do not use concentrated bleach, or bleach that has fragrance.
  2. Measure the amount of bleach before adding it to your bath water. Adding too much bleach can irritate your skin. However, adding too little may not be helpful. Use a half cup of bleach for a full bathtub of water, a quarter cup (75ml) of bleach for a half-full tub of water, and 1 teaspoon of bleach per 5L of water for a baby or toddler bathtub.
  3. Pour the bleach into the running bath water while the tub is filling. Wait until your bath is fully drawn before entering the bathtub. Make sure you use lukewarm bathwater, since hot water can dry out the skin, causing your eczema to flare. Do not submerge your head in the water; only soak from the neck down.
  4. Never apply bleach directly to your eczema.
  5. Ask your dermatologist how long to soak in the tub. Most dermatologists recommend a five- to 10-minute soak. Afterwards, turn on the shower and gently rinse your skin with lukewarm water and no soap before exiting the bathtub.
  6. Gently pat your skin dry after the bath. Use white towels if you are concerned about bleach stains.
  7. If your eczema requires medication, apply it immediately after the bath, or apply apply your moisturiser.

IOL Lifestyle